By Robin Toskin
When Daniel arap Moi was President, those who had a soft spot for the old man moaned that he was not a bad person. It is the people who surrounded him, they would say.
Today my likely president Raila Amolo Odinga, a man adept at using African lore in his speeches, and his advisors are making me anxious and reminding me of one Ibo saying that: “If you take an ant-infested log to your house, be prepared to be visited by lizards.”
And log we must take to the House on the Hill early next year.
Yet here, I am feeling this way. May be to understand my feeling, let us examine the following quotes attributed to Raila’s Media consultant Sarah Elderkin, who I do not know but have read her extensively yet she leaves my head spinning.
In an email said to have originated from her after Raila fired Miguna, she is quoted as saying: “Apart from being completely ill-advised that you rid yourself of one of the best brains around you (and you have got some nincompoops, that’s for sure), this has been done in the most disgusting fashion... You have people around you playing major roles who are irredeemably corrupt... Now you have a man who is totally loyal and not involved in your office staff’s blatant, well-known all over town corruption, yet he is suspended without pay...”
Never mind Elderkin’s previous comments published elsewhere on May 19, 2011 which she describes Miguna as “intelligent, well-read, well-prepared, honest, stalwart, upright, hardworking and supremely committed to what is good, proper, right and just,” person.
I have taken trouble to speak to some of the people mentioned in the book and one of them, who has since left the Prime Minister’s office, and does not want to be mentioned, was curt with his response. “I have moved on. I will leave it to Kenyans to decide. I only have one ballot.”
The PM is a likeable person and many people genuinely believe in his reform credentials. But his handlers, I am afraid are not doing a good job to minimise the damage on Jakom’s credentials.
Three weeks ago, after Gor Mahia smashed Nairobi City Stars 4-0 at the City Stadium, some of Raila’s supporters, I thought, approached me, obviously in gay mood after the K’Ogalo triumph and asked: “Toskin, what do you think of this ‘run baby run’?”